Torre del Lago (Lucca): Villa Puccini, a museum full of music and life

Saturday, 27th April 2013, 09:20 am | Written by Enrico Zoi

The Museum Villa Puccini is the very house of Giacomo Puccini. It is his refuge, the place where he lives, composes his melodies, and where he always wants to come back. Overlooking Lake Massaciuccoli, from which it takes pleasure and atmosphere, the sober and elegant building is the existential culmination of the musician, who comes from Lucca to Torre del Lago in 1891 and, after several years passed in rented houses, undertooks the construction of the building in 1899. Nowadays, his retreat is the Museum Villa Puccini, but nothing has really changed, except for a small living room which has become a Chapel, as safeguard to the body of the Maestro and his family. The Association “Friends of the Homes of Giacomo Puccini” manages the Villa, presided by the Maestro’s granddaughter, Simonetta Puccini: the visit is an experience of high and sincere participation and of deep artistic and human sharing. The first emotional burst comes from knowing that he still rests within those walls, where the majority of his works took form and substance, from Manon Lescaut to La Bohème, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, The Girl from the Golden West, La Rondine and Il Trittico.

Them, upon entering, despite the necessary organisational rationality of the visit (in turns, small groups and with an audio guide), thanks to his melodies, irradiated with sober energy between those environments, you can immediately feel his presence, some would say his aura. There is life, in fact, his very life and in part ours, too, as we cross the study with the piano or we stop to look into the eyes of Puccini’s many portraits which are here preserved, or to think in front of his funeral mask, arrived from Brussels, where he died in 1924.

Foto 106

There is movement, and together with it you can feel smells, sounds, hurry, sweat and adrenaline in the hunting room, where there are all his guns and hunting trophies, and the hunting boots displayed as a tangible symbol of his artistic and characteristic restlessness. There is his soul in the conservatory, which houses the paintings of his friends belonging to the artistic movement “Macchiaioli”, the daily companions of the rich and everyday life at Puccini’s home. There is the mud of the street and the suffering from the automobile accident, and then once again life, even in the ticket office: looking up, you can see the tires of his many cars, one of his passions. The museum gives visitors all these emotions and feelings. It is not a museum, it is a living thing. Decades of air-changes, opera lovers, or even just curious people have not altered the DNA of an atmosphere that is still permeated by Puccini, despite the brevity of the interesting forty-minutes trip that it is possible (and recommended) to experience in the Villa.

We thank the friend Henry Zoi for the nice review:  click here for  the article published on “il trillo del diavolo”.
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